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Old 08-06-2004, 01:47 AM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default My Big Ten preview...

Predicted order of finish...

1) TIED-Michigan State....7-1 ( 10-2 ). John L. Smith will work a bigger miracle in 2004 by getting a share of the Big Ten crown. QB Jeff Smoker is gone, a blow, but Drew Stanton, his likely replacement, comes from the mold of a Krenzel. He manages the game well, and let's everything come to him. A lot of vets in the receiving corps and a host of talented RB's will help out the new QB on offense. A steady line on defense with a good lot of safeties, who will have to make up for suspect corners. Expect improved special teams as well, an area Smith is known to embrace. ONE LOSS-AT MICHIGAN. Out of conf. loss- AT HAWAII.

1) TIED-Ohio State....7-1 ( 10-1). Tressel has the best linebacking corps in the nation and the strongest special teams in the Big Ten, but he also has a suspect offensive and defensive line due to graduation, and a new QB, as Krenzel is gone. As of date, sophmore Justin Zwick is expected to take the snaps, but fellow sophmore Troy Smith ( more mobile) is a close second with freshman Todd Boeckman right on his heels. If Tressel forges ahead with the running game as seniors Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall should improve, he will be fine ( watch out for a kid named Pittman in the future for OSU, he dominated the Spring Game at RB). The lines will come together and gel, as they always have in Columbus. Run, run, bleed, and kick is the way to go. And if Tressel isn't foolish enough to try and open things up with his talented QB's ( this batch is as talented as it gets at OSU), several 12-6 and 15-9 winning games should get OSU a share of another conference crown. ONE LOSS- AT MICH. STATE

1) TIED-Michigan....7-1 ( 10-1). Carr has visions of slants, button hooks,and deep bombs dancing in his head, with a receiving corps that is easily one of, if not THE BEST in college football, nevermind the smash mouth Big Ten. Carr's nightmare is the fact he has lost Navarre and Perry, and needs a new starting QB to throw those passes, and a RB to take the heat off of the receivers. Matt Guiterrez is expected to take the snaps (if he REALLY struggles, things could get tough) and expect a mish mash of RB's to get time as the early season wears on. The defensive line is key. If the line can gel, which is suspect right now, the overall defense in Ann Arbor should be a tough one. The secondary, led by Marlin Jackson,will be outstanding and the strength. There are more question marks then answers in Ann Arbor, just as there are in Columbus. THE GAME goes to OSU this year, as the Bucks spoil the perfect season for Blue. ONE LOSS- AT OHIO STATE.

4) Purdue....5-3 ( 8-3 ). Tiller has 8 starters returning on an explosive high tech offense led by QB Kyle Orton, perhaps the best signal caller in the Big Ten. The question mark on O is the receiving corps, but if Orton can do his duty, he can make good wideouts look great. Defense is the problem and why Purdue will lose at home to OSU and Michigan. Only 3 starters return on a defense ( OUCH !) that was very solid last year. The linebacking corps and d line need TONS of work done on them. I have faith in Tiller though. You don't get 8 wins in the Big Ten without a good defense, and Tiller should get the team to gel somewhat. If not though, even Ohio State might put up 21 points on them.

5)TIED- Iowa...4-4 ( 6-5). I've got Iowa lower then most expect, still doubting Ferentz's abilities. THREE starters return on offense, with a new signal caller and RB in the works. As of now, there needs to be ALOT of gelling if the offense is able to move down the field on the defenses of the Big Ten. Linebackers and the secondary should hold the defense together and the team as well. A new kicker is another monkey wrench for Iowa. Still, I say Ferentz gets 6 wins out of them.

5)TIED- Penn State...4-4 ( 6-5 ). Paterno has no receivers, an average QB in Zach Mills, and a run of the mill RB situation. His lines are so-so, and his secondary has promise. 6 wins, a few close calls both ways, and a season that could be worse if Joe is really getting too old and senile for the game.

5) TIED- Wisconsin...4-4 ( 6-5 ). After beating OSU last year, Alvarez's squad seemed to take the rest of the season off, losing 5 of it's last 6. Sorgi is gone at QB, injury riddled Anthony Davis returns at RB, and Evans is gone in the recieving corps. The O and D lines look solid, and should provide the strength of their wins.

8) Minnesota....3-5 ( 5-6 ). A new QB, less mobile and run happy then Abdul-Khaliq , in Bryan Cupito will run the show for Glen Mason. RB's are the key, with Barber and Maroney, who should give the opposing Big Ten linebackers fits. A solid defense should give Minnesota a chance at another high place finish, but in the end, the Gophers will crumble under the spotlight, as they always do.

9) Northwestern...2-6 ( 4-8 ). A vastly improving secondary and an O line who gave way to the Big Ten's #2 rushing attack last season will be counted on heavily in Evanston.

10) Illinois....1-7 ( 3-8 ). If QB Jon Beutjer can avoid injury this year,unlike last, and live up to atleast some of the hype surrounding him, Illinois may be able to put up points with a talented RB and recieving corps. Problems abound on the lines, and if they don't gel GREATLY, forget those talented skill people, they'll be in hospital beds. Coach Turner gets the pink slip at season's end, if not sooner.

11) Indiana....0-8 ( 1-10). Wanna know how bad they are? Ohio State might score 40 points against them. Yep, that says it all.
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:31 AM   #2
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I just looked up my last year's predictions for the Big Ten, and I think I did pretty well. ( excludes bowls)

Predictions I got exactly right...

OSU 10-2 and they went 10-2
Minn 9-3 and they went 9-3

Predictions I was within one game of...

Michigan 11-1 and they went 10-2
Purdue 10-2 and they went 9-3
Wisconsin 8-4 and they went 7-5
Indiana 3-9 and they went 2-10

Predictions I was within two games of...

Mich. St. 6-6 who went 8-4

And the ugly...

I was a combined 19 games off for NW, PSU, ILL, and Iowa.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: My Big Ten preview...

Quote:
Originally posted by buckeyefan78
5)TIED- Penn State...4-4 ( 6-5 ). Paterno has no receivers, an average QB in Zach Mills, and a run of the mill RB situation. His lines are so-so, and his secondary has promise. 6 wins, a few close calls both ways, and a season that could be worse if Joe is really getting too old and senile for the game.
1. Agreed. Penn State has no receivers unless Phillips or Smith steps up early on.

2. Agreed. Zack Mills has proven nothing. He rode Larry Johnson's coat tails in 2002 and showed what he could do last season and that was with two close to quality receivers.

3. Disagree. Austin Scott, Rodney Kinlaw and Tony Hunt are all tremendous running backs and will be one of the best trios of backs in the nation in a year or two. Kinlaw may be moved to receiver at some point if he shows any promise catching passes out of backfield as a change of pace back.

4. Agreed. Both lines have some good players and have the potential to be good at some point. The offensive line could be very good next season as all of the starters are sophmores or juniors.

5. Disagree. Too many question marks in the secondary for it to be more than average. Lowery and Zemaitis both return and will anchor the secondary but can Anwar Phillips and Chris Harrell step up as starters? How effective will Donnie Johnson be at CB after moving from running back? Assuming Harrell earns the FS spot he'll have to perform well early on or Andrew Guman could take over.

I'm calling for a 7-4 (4-4) season for Penn State. All OOC games are winnable and so are all of the Big Ten games except Ohio State and Iowa. Everyone will have a better grasp on the season after the BC game.
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:45 PM   #4
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Alex...

1. Receivers...they lost all five of their leaders from last year, even if those two step up, man is it going to be tough.

2. Mills is just plain average. No other way to put it.

3. You say in a year or two, well I'm going with the " two". My problem with Scott, who is the best of the bunch, is that he seems to flashy and big play minded to play in the Big Ten. I think he will be adequate this year, with 800 yards or so, but with no QB AND NO RECEIVERS, he's going to see 8 man in the box alot, which will hurt him.

4. Very true. The line isn't bad, it's just average due to inexperience and youth mostly. They won't be a dominate force when they come together, but should get the job done. However, it won't be this year.

5. Like I said on the secondary, there is promise, but yeah, question marks. Zemaitis is solid, but the other corner position is going to be filled by someone who isn't ready, proably Phillips from last I heard, but you would know more then me on it Alex. Considering you could run all day on PSU last year, it's hard to gage the growth of the secondary.

I didn't even mention the special teams, which were horrible last year for the Lions. I gave them 6-5 and will always stick with my prediction, but I think I might have given them too much credit. Some teams have a glaring weakness or a few question marks, but it seems like PSU doensn't have ANYTHING you can count on fully this year. Still, almost all their games last year were close, and I expect them to play that way this year as well.
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by buckeyefan78
5. Like I said on the secondary, there is promise, but yeah, question marks. Zemaitis is solid, but the other corner position is going to be filled by someone who isn't ready, proably Phillips from last I heard, but you would know more then me on it Alex. Considering you could run all day on PSU last year, it's hard to gage the growth of the secondary.

I didn't even mention the special teams, which were horrible last year for the Lions. I gave them 6-5 and will always stick with my prediction, but I think I might have given them too much credit. Some teams have a glaring weakness or a few question marks, but it seems like PSU doensn't have ANYTHING you can count on fully this year. Still, almost all their games last year were close, and I expect them to play that way this year as well.
It's been pretty much set in stone that Phillips will be opposite Zemaitis when Frye and the Zips come to the line of scrimmage. Donnie Johnson has supposedly looked good at cornerback thus far but I haven't seen any reports for awhile. That fact scares into thinking he's going to just be average.

You can count on the fact that Joe will be back next season regardless of what happens in 2004. From what we've both said, there's a lot of potential for the team. Of this year's projected starters, 17 will return next season. Many of targeted 2005 as "the year" that everything turns around. We'll have a soft OOC schedule (Cincinnati, South Florida and Central Michigan all at home) and the only challenging game I see on the 2005 schedule so far is @ Michigan. If nothing else, we'll have a season like 2002 where the talent exceeds the bad coaching. Something a lot of fans and even Penn State fans fail to recognize is that there were three new starters on the D-Line last year. All of the players getting replaced either went in the 1st (Kennedy and Haynes) or 2nd round (Adams).

I'm biased to some extent but I believe this team can go 7-4 and get into a decent bowl game. The only games I go into expecting to lose are Ohio State and Iowa. As I said in my original post, the Boston College game will show what type of season Penn State will have.
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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Ohio State and Michigan, I sort of understand. The rest of those two teams is talented enough to battle for the Big 10 crown.
Jumping up and hollering that John L Smith will have the Spartans anything over .500 with a new QB THAT HE DIDN'T RECRUIT???!!! Come on.

He whipped some kids into shape who'd lost their way under Bobby Williams, but make no mistake, they had also peaked under Williams. MSU has another two, maybe four years, before making an honest title shot.
Indeed, I think Penn State (whose conference title hopes I view as dim, at their brightest) have a better shot than MSU at getting near the crown.

Oh, well.

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Old 08-08-2004, 01:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: My Big Ten preview...

Quote:
Originally posted by buckeyefan78
Predicted order of finish...

1) TIED-Michigan State....7-1 ( 10-2 ). John L. Smith will work a bigger miracle in 2004 by getting a share of the Big Ten crown.
That is the most beautiful thing I have read in a long time!:cheers:
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:09 AM   #8
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I thought you would like that MSU...LOL

Dave...

Again with those negative vibes?...LOL. Ok, just sit back and watch Smith do it. And Penn State having a better shot at the conference title then MSU? THAT is crazy. Even if I'm way off on MSU at 10-2, there's NO WAY PSU finishes ahead of them in the Big Ten.

It may be a bold prediction to pick MSU at #1, but that's the fun of it. Sure, it isn't a sure thing, like Arizona CRUSHING THE HELL out of Utah ( remember that one Dave...LOL), but I expect much out of the Spartans this year. The one thing that kills them is that trip out to Hawaii after the PSU game. Going to be kind of tough to win out there, and if they do as well as I claim, and lose that game, it will proably cost them a BCS bowl at that point.
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:37 PM   #9
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I like Smith as a coach. Really. But, I have a hard time believing that the job he did last season was anything but giving those kids a little discipline, making them pay a good bit more attention to the particulars, on and off the field. He's playing the role Butch Davis played in Miami: cleaning up a wayward program. It's unclear that Smith is such a good coach that he can a)outrecruit OSU and Big Blue, EVER or b)compete for a title in a conference that is more or less top-heavy at the moment -the two mentioned before being the class, everyone else (aside from Indiana and Northwestern) hoping that someone pulls a couple upsets over the class of the conference so that they can leap into the top spot.

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Old 08-12-2004, 12:06 AM   #10
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We'll see Dave, oh well. You're right though on the Big Ten being top heavy with OSU and Michigan. Seems like this year is much like OSU's undefeated season two years back, with the " Big Two and little eight ( now nine due to PSU) " again taking shape in the conference like it was in the 1970s. I don't know of anyone not picking Michigan or Ohio State to win the title ( more so Michigan from what I recall reading so far), with most claiming Iowa or Purdue having the only real chance at unseeding those two if they should both stumble, which isn't expected.
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Old 08-24-2004, 01:16 AM   #11
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the big ten is probaly going to have not one of their best years. Michigan is going to have a hard time replacing Jon Navarre. Ohio State will win it but I think it will be a year for those avearge teams like Wisonsen and Minnesota to step up. I really don't know about Iowa b/c they haven't shown me anything great. Penn State will be better with a healthy Zach Mills

Big ten has a lackluster year but not if teams that i listed step up and take the role of good teams
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:39 AM   #12
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I don't know about Michigan State number one in the conference. It'll be a Michigan/OSU battle with one of a couple teams (Iowa, purdue, Wisconsin) throwing something together to contend. I haven't looked at any schedules other than Penn State's yet and in this Conference, that has a lot to do in determining what team plays in the CapOne and Citrus Bowls rather than the Sun Bowl.

I like Penn State's running backs this season. By next season, I believe Austin Scott will be a very good, well-rounded, running back. He should produce a good amount of yards, but I'm not sure if he's the possession runner just yet. On the other hand, they don't really need him to be with Hunt. I think their running game is more than run of the mill, for sure.

Their receiving corps isn't up to par. It doesn't matter how good Zach Mills is, no one is going to catch the ball. No one stepped up last season and they haven't recruited well at the position, which is one of the reasons why they brought in a new offensive co-ordinator.

Which presents a problem in this up coming season. They're going to want to throw the ball, but simply don't have the personnel to do it. Just throw Mike Robinson in the backfield rotation and run the ball 90% of the time. Mills has the legs for it. They had been doing more and more option play last season, but that tapered off a bit last season. They'll need to get back to that.
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:34 AM   #13
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A new Qb is gonna be Minnesota's downfall?

Every credible, and I stress that last word, publication.prognosticator has the Gophers no worse than 4th in alomst every poll, etc. They are a top 25 team that most people think will be playing on New Years Eve.

Barber is back.....Muroney is back....our best WR's are back...our ENTIRE O-LINE is back....our kicker is back....7 defensive starters return.........

Sorry, but 3-5? 5-6 overall? I'll bet anybody and dollar amount that is not even close to what they will be. This is a LEGIT 9 or 10 win team.

Cupito lacks the scrambling ability of Asad, but he's a better passer with a stronger arm.
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Old 08-27-2004, 05:30 PM   #14
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LOL!!

I'm sorry, did you say Minnesota was LEGIT?

<snicker>

Sorry. Minnesota (as in University of) and legit are two words I'd never think of as synonymous, nevermind put them in the same sentence.

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Old 08-27-2004, 09:16 PM   #15
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Funny....I could say the same thing about WVU.

Two years ago we won 9 games....last year, it was 10. So, where's the humor in saying we can do it again? Especially, when most of our playmakers are back.
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